Lately, I've been thinking a lot about missionary work. Unfortunately, being somewhat timid about giving my testimony and beliefs to my friends can get in the way a big portion of the time. I'm always concerned about them thinking I'm in some crazy cult or something, or that I'm wasting my time. I know I shouldn't be worried about that, but, sometimes I can't help it. I've been made fun of so many times for being Mormon that I'm starting to not even answer questions people ask me (mainly because they're making fun of me while doing it. How many moms do you have, Aubrey? Where is your gold bible? Do you worship that Joe Smith dude?)
Expressing my feelings to my parents, my mom told me a great analogy that she had heard in a church talk given by Elder Oaks in 2000.
"Consider that you are invited to a friend’s house for breakfast. On the table you see a large pitcher of freshly squeezed orange juice from which your host fills his glass. But he offers you none. Finally you ask, ‘Could I have a glass of orange juice?’
He replies, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I was afraid you might not like orange juice, and I didn’t want to offend you by offering you something you didn’t desire.’
“Now, that sounds absurd, but it is not too different from the way we hesitate to offer up something far sweeter than orange juice. I have often worried how I would answer some friend about my hesitancy when I meet him beyond the veil.” (Ensign, Nov. 2000, 81–82).
It made so much sense. If I feel like I should tell my friends about what I believe in, or ask them if they'd like to come to an activity at church, then by golly I should do it! After all, I'm not them, so holding back is really just making the decision for them. I need to work on this aspect of my life, definitely.